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BOPA ANNOUNCES THE SEMIFINALISTS FOR THE 2023 JANET & WALTER SONDHEIM ART PRIZE
ABOUT THE SONDHEIM ART PRIZE
This year, the prestigious Sondheim Art Prize will award $30,000 to a visual artist or visual artist collaborators living and working in the Baltimore region. BOPA will also award two residencies to finalists not selected for the Sondheim Art Prize: a six-week, fully funded residency at Civitella Ranieri in the Umbria region of Italy, and a residency at the Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower in Baltimore.
Civitella Ranieri (www.civitella.org) is a residency program for international writers, composers, and visual artists. Since 1995, Civitella has hosted more than 1,000 Fellows and Director’s Guests, enabling them to pursue their work and exchange ideas in a unique and inspiring setting. The Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower has been transformed into studio spaces for visual and literary artists. Located at 21 S. Eutaw Street in the heart of the Bromo Arts & Entertainment District, the 15-story city landmark is the ideal location for artists to explore their practice.
The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) proudly announces the semifinalists for the 18th annual Janet & Walter Sondheim Art Prize. This year’s panel of accomplished jurors — Kelly Baum, Devin Morris, and Ingrid Schaffner — have selected 14 visual artists and visual artist collaborators for the semifinal round. The 2023 Janet & Walter Sondheim Art Prize semifinalists are:
MEET THE SEMIFINALISTS
Abigail Lucien is a Haitian American interdisciplinary artist. Working in sculpture, literature, and time- based media, Lucien’s practice addresses themes of (be)longing, futurity, myth, and place by considering our relationship to inherited colonial structures and systems of belief/care.
Aliana Grace Bailey is an interdisciplinary fiber artist, designer, and socially engaged art practitioner. Born and raised in Washington D.C., Bailey is a passionate advocate for radical self-love, wellness, and healing. Her work embraces artmaking as a vehicle for growth, building intimacy, honoring loved ones, and creating inner peace through weaving vibrant colors, narratives, and environments.
Amanda Burnham makes drawings of all kinds: artist books, comics, intimate observational drawings, dimensional collages, and large, site-specific installations which feel somewhere between a comic book and a stage set. Since graduating from the Yale School of Art with an MFA in 2007, Burnham has been a professor of art at Towson University.
Andersen Woof is a Chinese American painter who currently lives and works in Baltimore, Maryland. Originally trained in landscape architecture at Rhode Island School of Design, Andersen constantly looks for ambiguous narratives that reflect the complexities of humanity through the lens of his own queer and immigrant life.
David Page is an artist who tries to explain intersecting notions around threat, risk, power imbalances, punishment, and everyday brutality. Born in Cape Town, South Africa, Page earned a National Diploma in Fine Arts from the Cape Tecnikon in 1986 and an MFA from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2002. He lives in Baltimore with his wife, jewelry designer Lauren Schott, and Hank the dog.
Hope & Faith (Eleisha Faith and Tonisha Hope McCorkle) hold BFAs from New York University in Studio Art, with minors in Social & Cultural Analysis and Psychology, respectively. These twin sisters — known collectively as Hope and Faith — utilize storytelling and collage to conflate the ideas of reconstruction and resilience within the Black experience. They actively channel collective consciousness within their practice to birth a new understanding of experience, one that is affirming, uplifting, and powerful.
Elliot Doughtie works in drawing, sculpture, and installation, with a desire to form intimate relationships between common objects and the awkwardness of having a body. Originally from Dallas, Texas, Doughtie has a BA from Tulane University and an MFA from Mount Royal School of Art at MICA.
Giulia Livi is an interdisciplinary artist working in painting and installation. Her immersive rooms employ hyper-cohesive color and abstract forms to work out ideas of multi-functional art objects and curated domesticity. Livi is currently the Associate Director of C. Grimaldis Gallery, Baltimore's longest continuously operating contemporary art space.
Jenny Reed is an assemblage sculptor whose work is predominantly composed of ceramics, fibers, and other craft-based materials. Through her abstract representational works, Reed aims to inspire viewers to envision new ways of perceiving and making sense of past events and everyday relations.
Katherine Mann creates large scale paintings and paper installations that examine mythology, identity, and landscape. The daughter of an American man and a Taiwanese woman, Mann’s work reflects the collision of Eastern and Western influences in her life. Having double majored in both Art and Human Development, Mann is continually inspired by the vast, complex recesses of our bodies.
Kelli Williams is an animator and visual artist who uses stop-motion animation, photography, augmented reality, installation, and humor to create work that comments on society through the lens of social media and technology. An alumna of Morgan State University where she majored in Fine Art, Williams also has an MFA in Design from Columbus College of Art.
Kyrae Dawaun maintains a practice centering on the human dependence on inorganic matter and nonhuman existence and explores these geological transactions as they implicate human relationships. His approach to his work is influenced by his avid studies, speculation, and experience around architecture, hospitality, and the fluid and fickle nature of language.
Nekisha Durrett is a mixed-media artist who is invested in foregrounding issues of Black life while creating a space where fantasy, imagination, and history converge. Durrett creates both large-scale and intimate installations that aim to make the ordinary enchanting, while summoning subject matter that is often underrepresented or overlooked in our day-to-day lives.
Rae Red encourages laughter in the face of darkness by translating everyday realities into playful performances. Their work exposes the magic and wonder within daily functions, exploring subjects that are universal — like blood pumping through veins — while illuminating the small deaths that reoccur continually around us. Red is also an art educator, tarot reader, and yoga teacher.
Kelly Baum — Kelly Baum is the Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon Polsky Curator of Contemporary Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has worked as a scholar and curator for almost twenty-five years. Before arriving at The Met, she held positions at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin, and the Princeton University Art Museum, where she established the institution’s first department of modern and contemporary art. She has published widely and curated or co-curated dozens of exhibitions, including Delirious: Art at the Limits of Reason, 1950-1980; Odyssey: Jack Whitten Sculpture, 1963-2017; Wangechi Mutu: The NewOnes, will free Us; Alice Neel: People Come First; Charles Ray: Figure Ground; and Hew Locke: Gilt. She received her PhD from the University of Delaware in 2005 and was a 2018 fellow in the Center for Curatorial Leadership.
Devin Morris — Devin N. Morris is a Baltimore born, Brooklyn based artist. Morris was recently in The Aesthetics of Matter, the first NYC curatorial project by Deux Femme Noires: Mickalene Thomas and Racquel Chevremont. He was also featured in the New Museum’s MOTHA and Chris E. Vargas’ Consciousness Razing — The Stonewall Re-Memorialization Project, and the two-person show, Inside Out, Here, at La Mama Gallery, curated by Eric Booker (Studio Museum, Exhibition Coordinator). Morris is the founder of 3 Dot Zine, which is an annual
publication that serves as a forum for marginalized concerns and recently hosted the Brown Paper Zine & Small Press Fair with the Studio Museum in Harlem and created a site-specific installation at the MoMA PS1 2018 NY Art Book Fair. His 2017 solo show at Terrault Contemporary was listed in Artforum as the “Best of 2017,” and he was named by Time Magazine in 2017 as one of “12 African American Photographers You Should Follow.”
Ingrid Schaffner — Curator at Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas. Prior, she was the curator of 2018 Carnegie International at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Chief Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania from 2000–2015. Schaffner work often coalesces around themes of archiving and collecting, photography, feminism, and alternate modernisms — especially surrealism. She has curated important exhibitions that have helped studio craft to gain acceptance as fine arts, such as Dirt on Delight: Impulses That Form Clay with Jenelle Porter at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia in 2009. Schaffner co-authored the publication Deep Storage which was a major international survey of 50 contemporary artists representing issues and images of collecting, storage, and archiving. Other exhibitions include Pictures, Patents, Monkeys, More … on collecting, Richard Tuttle, In Parts, 1998–2001, and The Photogenic: Photography Through its Metaphor. She has also penned numerous publications on 20th-century art, art reviews in Artforum, and catalog essays.
The selection process will occur in three phases:
First Review — Jurors will review applicants’ submissions independent of each other. They will complete score sheets that will be tabulated to select approximately 13–15 semifinalists. Submissions will consist of five (5) digital images of work or up to ten (10) minutes of time-based work and a resume.
Second Review — Semifinalists will be asked to submit an expanded submission including up to 30 images or time-based works along with an artist statement, resume and image description list. The jurors will convene to choose three finalists for the exhibition and final review.
Works by the remaining semifinalists will be selected by BOPA Prizes and Competitions Manager Lou Joseph for an exhibition at School 33 Art Center in September/October 2023.
Final Review — The finalists will have their work exhibited in the Walters Art Museum. Each finalist will meet with the Walters Art Museum curators to determine installation requirements.
Finalists will work collaboratively with the WAM curators to determine which artwork is to be included in the finalist exhibition; however, the final decision on what is exhibited and the decision regarding the feasibility of installation requirements is the responsibility of the WAM curators. The exhibit design and artwork placement within these galleries is at the sole discretion of the WAM curatorial and exhibition staff. On Saturday, July 22, 2023, the jurors will meet with each artist for up to 45 minutes in their exhibition space for a final interview. After all the interviews, the jurors will meet and decide the recipients for the Sondheim Art Prize, the
residency at Civitella Ranieri, and the residency at the Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower. The award will be announced at the award ceremony and reception at the Walters Art Museum on Thursday, July 27, 2023.
In the case of COVID-19 restrictions not allowing for in-person exhibitions, we will utilize the online platform Kunstmatrix, with curatorial assistance from the Walters curatorial staff. Interviews with each finalist will take place with the jurors online, and BOPA will coordinate an online award ceremony.
Image Submission Guidelines
● Artists may submit five (5) images of artwork for the first round of jury review.
● Images should be in jpeg format and be not larger than approximately 3MB.
● Artists submitting time-based works may submit up to ten (10) minutes of work. The 10 minutes may include excerpts from up to five (5) works as long as the combined time totals no more than 10 minutes.
● Artists wishing to submit still and time-based works, subtract two (2) minutes from the allowed 10-minute time-based total for every still image submitted.
● Videos should be in .mov or .mp4 format.
Please contact Lou Joseph at 443-263-4339 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions regarding the submission of sound-based works.
BOPA will host two information sessions Tuesday, January 3, at 3:00 p.m. and Thursday, January 5, at 6:00 p.m. to help artists plan their applications and answer questions. Both sessions will take place over Zoom
1. Artists living and working in Maryland; Washington, D.C.; Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties and the city of Alexandria in Virginia; Delaware and Adams, Chester, Franklin, Lancaster, and York counties in Pennsylvania are eligible to submit for this award.
2. Artists may not be full-time students at the time of the exhibition and during the granting period. Students who will have graduated by the time of the exhibition and granting period may apply.
3. Artists must live and work in one of the geographic areas listed above during time of application and during the entire granting period.
4. Artists who work in collaboration may apply as a group. Each artist’s name and contact information should be listed on the application form. A one-page resume for the collaborative group and a single set of support materials should be submitted. Each individual member of the collaborative group must meet all other guidelines.
5. Artists who apply as individuals must submit original artwork that is principally created by them. It is understood that sometimes individual artists may employ the work of another artist to complete a larger scale project. For example, an artist who works in video may choose to include sound in the video that is composed by another artist. In such cases, the individual artist applying to the Sondheim Prize must be the primary creator of the work, they must disclose any assistance received on artwork submitted for consideration and they must obtain permission from the contributor to submit the work for consideration. Failure to disclose this support will disqualify application, and the artist will be required to return any prize monies awarded.
6. Upon www.submittable.com’s receipt of application materials, artists will be sent an automatic email confirmation. If an artist does not receive this confirmation within 48 hours, please contact Lou Joseph at email@example.com.
7. The award will be paid in monthly installments: $8,000 will be paid for the first month and $2,000 will be paid for each of the following 11 months. If artist collaborators are selected the above payments will be equally divided between the collaborating artists.
8. Winners of the Sondheim Prize will be responsible for paying all applicable federal, state, and local taxes.
9. Artists’ work included in the Semifinalist Exhibition will be insured during the exhibition duration by BOPA; artists’ work included in the Finalists exhibition at the Walters Art Museum will be insured by that organization while the artwork is on the premises of the Walters Art Museum.
10. Winners of the Sondheim Prize will be required to file a final report by June 30, 2024, before the final payment. This report should include an explanation of how winning this prize has enabled the artist or artist collaborative group to further develop their work, as well as an explanation of any additional opportunities that may have arisen as a result of winning this prize.
11. BOPA reserves the right to reproduce images of applicants’ work for printed or internet publicity, catalogue, or marketing purposes. The Walters Art Museum also will have the right to reproduce work relating to the 2023 Sondheim Prize.
12. The decisions of the jurors are final. Jurors may change without notification.
13. Finalists will be required to meet with Walters Art Museum curators to finalize their installation needs; these needs must meet the exhibition guidelines set forth by the Walters Art Museum. If required by the installation of the artwork or its intended interaction with the public, the Walters Art Museum may choose to issue waivers of liability to be signed by the artist. Otherwise, the Walters Art Museum will insure the artwork while in its possession.
14. Artists chosen as finalists will be required to take primary responsibility for installing and deinstalling their work at the Walters Art Museum. Artists must be present on the Walters Art Museum premises for the installation and deinstallation of their work, which will occur Monday through Friday, between the hours of 9am and 4pm. If artists cannot personally
be present for installation, their work will not be exhibited. While artists may bring assistants to help them with installation, they cannot serve as substitutes for the artists.
15. Artists chosen as finalists must provide a complete list of materials used in artworks at the time of the initial site visit by Walters Art Museum curators and staff. Artists’ materials will be reviewed by the Walters Art Museum’s Conservation Department. Artists will additionally accommodate requests by Conservation team members to inspect work in person. Any material (including but not limited to salvaged lumber, food stuffs, other unstable organic materials, objects that off-gas fumes, and objects stored outdoors) that may introduce insects or present a risk to the Museum’s environment and collection will not be permitted inside of the Museum. It is the responsibility of each artist to suggest alternative works suitable for exhibition to the Walters Art Museum curators. If no acceptable alternatives are identified, the artist’s work will not be included in the exhibition but may be represented by photographic or video documentation to be provided by the artist.
16. Finalists are strongly encouraged to attend the press preview for the Finalist exhibition, tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, July 18, 2023, at 10:00 a.m.
17. Finalists may be required to make presentations at the Walters Art Museum at some time during the duration of the exhibition, including during the awards ceremony.
18. Photography by the public will be allowed in the Finalist Exhibition at the Walters Art Museum and in the Semifinalist Exhibition.
19. As BOPA works towards building a collaborative marketplace for artists to share, promote and sell their work. We request that our Sondheim Award finalists join us for a cause marketing initiative to make art more accessible in a unique, nontraditional setting. We will do all the work, bringing artists and designers together to create one-of-kind, limited edition merchandise (apparel, accessories, and home décor). You as the artists will set the terms of the collaboration. Our goal is to design a partnership that is mutually and financially beneficial for everyone.
20. Previous winners of the Sondheim Prize are not eligible to apply. Previous finalists and semifinalists may apply.
21. BOPA and BFAI Board members, employees and/or relatives (defined as children, spouse, domestic partner, or parents) are not eligible to apply for the Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize.
RECIPIENT OF 2022 $30,000 JANET & WALTER SONDHEIM ART PRIZE
Please join us in congratulating Baltimore-based multimedia artist James Williams II as the recipient of this year’s $30,000 Janet & Walter Sondheim Art Prize!
Williams is a curator and interdisciplinary artist whose work encompasses painting, sculpture, and photography. He focuses on topics of social and cultural identity in the United States tied together by self-portraiture and narration.
Williams is the recipient of the MFA Joan Mitchell Foundation award, the Bromo Seltzer Fellowship, and has served as artist-in-residence at School 33 in Baltimore.
Williams, originally from Upstate New York, received his master’s degree from the Mount Royal School of Art program at Maryland Institute College Art (MICA). He currently teaches at MICA.
Williams' work is currently on view alongside his fellow finalists, Maren Henson and Megan Koeppel, through September 18, 2022 at the Walters Art Museum.
Civitella Ranieri is an American artists’ community located at a 15th-century castle in the Umbria region of Italy. Fiber artist Megan Koeppel was awarded the fully funded six-week residency, which will offer her a valuable opportunity to deepen her practice. "Taking part in the residency... [will] be an incredible, uninterrupted amount of time, to conduct research and gain a new perspective on Italian fiber art and female textile artists," she says.
BROMO SELTZER ARTS TOWER
Multimedia artist Maren Henson was awarded the six-month residency at Baltimore's own Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower. Henson uses videos, drawings, and sound installations to reexamine the role of conspiracy and how it has shaped American culture. Her work discusses how cultural narratives are manipulated and controlled. The Bromo Tower residency will allow Henson ample space to experiment with her installation practice.
The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) announces the finalists for the 17th annual Janet & Walter Sondheim Art Prize presented by M&T Bank. The three individual artists selected as this year’s finalists are Maren Henson, Megan Koeppel, and James Williams II. This year, the prestigious competition will award a $30,000 fellowship to assist in furthering the career of a visual artist or visual artist collaborators living and working in the Greater Baltimore region. BOPA will also be awarding two residencies to finalists not selected for the Sondheim Art Prize: a six-week, fully funded residency at Civitella Ranieri in the Umbria region of Italy, and a six-month residency at the Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower in Baltimore.
The selected finalists will show their work at the Walters Art Museum, 600 N. Charles Street. The finalists' exhibition will be on view from Thursday, July 21–Sunday, September 18, 2022. Admission to the exhibition is free. After the panel of jurors — Catherine Morris, Jean Shin, and Kambui Olujimi — conducts a final interview with each artist in their exhibition space, they will meet and decide the prize winner and the recipient of each residency. The winner of 17th annual Janet & Walter Sondheim Art Prize will be announced at an awards ceremony held at the Walters.
In the case of COVID-19 restrictions not allowing for in-person exhibitions, BOPA will utilize the online platform Kunstmatrix, with assistance from the Walters' curatorial staff. Juror interviews will take place online, and BOPA will coordinate a virtual award ceremony.
About the Finalists
As the concealed artifacts behind historical conspiracies become public information, Maren Henson reexamines the role of conspiracy and how it has shaped American culture. These videos, drawings, and sound installations examine how cultural narratives are manipulated and controlled. She received her Master of Fine Art degree in the Mount Royal School of Art at the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland where she currently lives. She has exhibited work in New York, Boston, LA, Puerto Rico, Maryland, and Texas.
Born in 1996 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Megan Koeppel is a fiber artist currently living in Baltimore, Maryland. She earned her BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2018, where she studied fine art and curatorial practices. Her work has recently been exhibited in the DMV area and her home state, in spaces such as Var Gallery (Milwaukee), The Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts (Cedarburg Wisconsin), Material Gallery + Studio (Milwaukee), VisArts (Rockville, Maryland), Monochrome Art Fair (Washington, DC), and at Creative Alliance (Baltimore). She currently works as the Exhibition Programming Coordinator at VisArts in Rockville.
JAMES WILLIAMS ll
James Williams II is a curator and interdisciplinary artist whose work encompasses painting, sculpture, and photography. His works center on topics of social and cultural identity in the United States tied together by self-portraiture and narration. His most recent project was curating the show, Future Planets, at Longwood Center for the Visual Arts — an exhibition featuring the creativity of young artists ranging from ages 3–15 years old alongside their creative and established parents. Williams is the recipient of the MFA Joan Mitchell Foundation award, the Bromo Seltzer Fellowship, and served as artist-in-residence at School 33 in Baltimore, Maryland. Williams, originally from Upstate New York, received his master’s degree from the Mount Royal School of Art program at Maryland Institute College Art (MICA). He currently teaches at MICA.
The 17th annual Janet & Walter Sondheim Art Prize is produced by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts in partnership with the Walters Art Museum. Learn more about the Janet & Walter Sondheim Art Prize at www.promotionandarts.org.
The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) is proud to announce that Hae Won Sohn is the winner of the 2021 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize. The coveted $25,000 prize was presented at a virtual award ceremony, streamed on BOPA’s Facebook and YouTube pages.
“I was definitely surprised,” said Sohn in an interview with BOPA Arts Council Director Jackie Downs. “I would say that everyone would be surprised to know that they’re selected for any kind of competition or prize. Even though I do have confidence in my work, I think the artists that were showing with me, their work, it’s amazing.”
Hae Won Sohn (Baltimore, MD) is a visual artist and craftswoman from Seoul, South Korea. In her practice, the artist utilizes studio artifacts such as broken molds or material remnants; further incorporating the action of de-/reconstruction in her (re)development of form and object history. While her process metaphorically references the archeological procedures and geographical phenomena, her studio practice incorporates conscious improvisation and the autonomy of material as a structural and conceptual foundation; further proposing a system built upon failure as a parallel model to success. Being selected as a finalist for the inaugural Galerie Emerging Artist Award (2019) by Galerie Magazine, Sohn’s most recent body of work was exhibited at Emmanuel Barbault Gallery (New York, NY) as part of Monologue aside (2020), her gallery solo. Her work also has been exhibited nationally and internationally at venues such as Emmanuel Barbault Gallery, New York, NY; Gray Contemporary, Houston, TX; MONO Practice, Baltimore, MD; Next Step Studio & Gallery, Ferndale, MI; Zahoorul Akhlaq Gallery of National College of Arts, Lahore, Pakistan; and Kyung-In Museum of Fine Art, Seoul, South Korea. Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Sohn earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the College of Design at Kookmin University located in Seoul, South Korea, and her Master of Fine Arts degree at the Cranbrook Academy of Art located in Bloomfield Hills, MI.
The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) is proud to announce that LaToya M. Hobbs is the winner of the 2020 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize. The coveted $25,000 prize was presented at a virtual award ceremony on Saturday, July 25, streamed on BOPA’s YouTube and Facebook pages.
“I am so excited, so happy and just filled with so much gratitude,” said Hobbs during the award ceremony. “It is an honor to continue in the tradition of the Sondheim Award and an absolute pleasure to share my work with you.”
LaToya M. Hobbs (Baltimore, MD) is an artist, wife, and mother of two currently living and working in Baltimore, MD. She received her BA in Painting from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and MFA in Printmaking from Purdue University. Hobbs’ work deals with figurative imagery that addresses the ideas of beauty, cultural identity, and womanhood as they relate to women of the African Diaspora. She creates a fluid and symbiotic relationship between her printmaking and painting practice producing works that are marked by texture, color and bold patterns. Her exhibition record includes several national and international exhibits. Hobbs’ work has also been featured in Transition: An International Review, a publication of the W.E.B. Dubois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. Other accomplishments include a 2019 Individual Artist Award in the Works on Paper category from the Maryland State Arts Council, a 2019 Artist Travel Grant awarded by the Municipal Art Society of Baltimore and she is the recipient of a 2020 Artist in Residence award at the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans, LA. Additionally, Hobbs devotes her time to teaching and inspiring young artists as a Professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Hobbs’ winning Sondheim Artscape Prize gallery is available for viewing here.
The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) is proud to announce that Akea Brionne Brown is the winner of the 2019 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize. The coveted $25,000 prize was presented at The Walters Art Museum on Saturday, July 13, 2019. The six other finalists received a $2,500 honorarium established by M&T Bank in partnership with BOPA.
Akea Brionne Brown (Baltimore, MD) is an emerging photographer that investigates the implications of historical racial and social structures in relation to the development of contemporary black life and identity within America. With a particular focus on the ways in which history influences the contemporary cultural milieu of the American black middle class, Brown explores today's African-American community as it relates to historical forms of oppression, discrimination and segregation in American history. She received a Visual Task Force scholarship from the National Association of Black Journalists. Her work is featured in the Smithsonian’s Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, and was recently acquired by Los Angeles Center for Digital Art. She was the 2018 winner of Duke University’s Archive of Documentary Arts Collection’s Documentarian of Color award. Her series, Black Picket Fences, was acquired for their permanent collection at the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. She was also chosen to attend the 7th annual New York Portfolio Review in 2018.
The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) is proud to announce that Erick Antonio Benitez is the winner of the 2018 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize. The coveted $25,000 prize was presented at The Baltimore Museum of Art on Saturday, July 14, 2018. The five other finalists—Nakeya Brown, Sutton Demlong, Nate Larson, Eunice Park, and Stephen Towns—received a $2,500 honorarium established by M&T Bank in partnership with BOPA. Works of art by the winner and finalists were on view at the BMA through Sunday, August 5, 2018.
Esta Tierra Es Tu Tierra (This Land Is Your Land) is an immersive installation focusing on the U.S.-Mexico border and its effects on human lives. In winter 2015 and summer 2016, Erick Antonio Benitez (American, b. 1988) traveled the entirety of the border that stretches from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean, visiting numerous sites including migrant shelters (in both the U.S. and Mexico), a Tent City jail recently closed for its horrific human rights violations, and various border landscapes. His poetic and sonic video documentary captures onsite interviews with border agents, migrants, and members of the volunteer Minuteman Project, as well as interactions at Friendship Park, where residents of the U.S. and Mexico are permitted to meet face-to-face across a 100-foot, semitransparent span of fencing. Benitez also made audio recordings and photographs and collected sand, dirt, rocks, seashells, yucca flowers, and discarded personal belongings. He preserves and enshrines these objects within the installation as ritual offerings to those who have lost their lives on their journey to the United States.
Erick Antonio Benitez (Baltimore, MD) is a multidisciplinary artist, musician, organizer and curator. Benitez's work primarily consists of installation, video, performance, sound, and painting to explore concepts of identity, culture, mysticism, and the natural world. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting with a video concentration from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in 2014. His work has been exhibited in several gallery exhibitions and publicly in Washington, DC; Baltimore, MD; Brooklyn, NY; Denver, CO; Barcelona, Spain and Timisoara, Romania. His work has also been featured in the Washington Post, Baltimore City Paper, BmoreArt, What Weekly, BmoreArt, a Journal of Art + Ideas, Let’s Talk Live (WJLA), and Hyrsteria Zine Vol. 2. Benitez is a recent recipient of The Contemporary: Grit Fund 2 and the Ruby Artist Project Grant and has been nominated as a finalist for the 2018 Baker Artist Award.
Mayor Catherine E. Pugh and the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) are proud to announce that Cindy Cheng is the winner of the 2017 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize. The coveted $25,000 prize was presented at the Walters Award Museum on Saturday, July 15, 2017. The six remaining finalists—Mequitta Ahuja, Mary Anne Arntzen, Sara Dittrich, Benjamin Kelley, Kyle Tata, and Amy Yee—each received a $2,500 honorarium supported by M&T Bank Charitable Foundation in partnership with BOPA. Works of art by the winner and finalists were on view at the Walters through Sunday, August 13, 2017.
Cindy Cheng (Baltimore, MD) creates complex constructions and installations that investigate the relationship between drawings and objects and are incubators for history, memory and reflections on the physical and abstract self. Her work has been featured in group and solo exhibitions at St. Charles Projects (Baltimore, MD, 2016), ‘sindikit (in collaboration with Cheeny Celebrado-Royer) (Baltimore, MD, 2016), Present Junction (Toronto, Canada, 2015), Thomas H. and Mary K. Williams Gallery at Mount Saint Mary’s University (Emmitsburg, MD, 2016), Flashpoint (Washington, DC, 2014), E-merge Art Fair (Washington, DC, 2013) and has an upcoming solo show at Ditch Projects (Portland, OR, 2017). Cheng received her BA from Mount Holyoke College. Cheng received a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in 2008 and then earned her Masters of Fine Art from MICA’s Mount Royal School of Art in 2011. She is currently teaching at MICA in the Drawing Department, and has been a resident at the Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT) and at the Anderson Ranch Artist Residency (Snowmass Village, CO). In 2016, Cheng and was a finalist for the Trawick Prize and in 2013 a semifinalist for the Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) are proud to announce that FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture is the winner of the 2016 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize. The coveted $25,000 prize was presented at this evening’s awards ceremony at The Baltimore Museum of Art. The six other finalists—Theo Anthony, Stephanie Barber, Darcie Book, Larry Cook, Eric Kruszewski, Christos Palios—received a $2,500 honorarium established this year by M&T Bank in partnership with BOPA. Works of art by the winner and finalists are on view at the BMA through Sunday, July 31, 2016.
FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture describes itself as a “creative activist effort to upset the culture of rape and promote a culture of consent.” The organization was founded in 2010 by Hannah Brancato and Rebecca Nagle, community organizers and artists living in Baltimore. The group deploys its messages against sexual violence through public art projects and events, as well as through the Internet and media campaigns.
On view is a small portion of FORCE’s The Monument Quilt, a growing compilation of the stories of survivors of sexual violence presented on 8-foot by 8-foot squares of red fabric. In 2017, FORCE seeks to bring 6,000 of these quilt squares (produced in workshops across the country) to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., where they will spell out the equally cautionary and consoling phrase “Not Alone.” Accompanying the quilt squares at the BMA is video footage documenting earlier presentations of the quilt. FORCE will also conduct a public awareness program as part of its Sondheim exhibition contribution.
The Sondheim Artscape Prize: 2016 Finalists exhibition is held in conjunction with Artscape and is produced by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts. It is one of the summer’s most highly anticipated exhibitions. It is designed to assist visual artists in the Greater Baltimore region in furthering their careers by allowing them to pursue tracks in their work that may not otherwise be possible. The artists were selected by an independent panel of jurors, who reviewed the exhibition and interviewed each artist to decide the winner. This year’s jurors are: Tim Griffin, Executive Director and Chief Curator at The Kitchen; Rujeko Hockley, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the Brooklyn Museum; and Mia Locks, Co-Curator of The Whitney Museum of American Art’s 2017 Whitney Biennial.